Pub-goers urged to self-isolate as coronavirus outbreak links to Black Country barbecue

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About 70 people attended the barbecue at the Soho Foundry Tavern in Smethwick last Sunday, according to Sandwell’s advice.The pub next to Black Patch Park on Foundry Lane voluntarily closed Thursday after three people there who tested positive for Covid-19.

At least one staff member was among the three people who tested positive.

Sandwell had one of the highest infection rates in the country over the past month, with the majority of cases centered around Smethwick and West Bromwich, although Sandwell’s council yesterday relaxed its advice after the number of new infections fell by 30% last week.

The daily number of positive coronavirus tests at Sandwell in July. Data: Public Health England

Public health bosses today urged anyone who was at the barbecue to self-isolate until next Sunday (August 16) after potentially being exposed to the virus.

Anyone with symptoms of the disease, such as a continuous cough, fever, or a change in taste or smell, has been asked to book a test immediately.

A walk-in testing site was set up in St Pauls Road, Smethwick, last week to help borough residents get tested quickly.

Sandwell’s director of public health Dr Lisa McNally praised the owner of the pub for voluntarily shutting down and informing the authority.

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She said, “They did exactly what we would like business owners to do in this situation.

“They voluntarily made the decision to close and contacted us for advice. I urge all companies to do the same.

“Ads need to be very careful at this time to collect customer details and ensure social distancing at all times.”

Councilor Maria Crompton, deputy head of Sandwell Council, said: “We need to urgently alert anyone who attended the event last weekend to self-isolate until Sunday August 16. If they show any symptoms, they should book a test.

“Everyone needs to remain incredibly vigilant – the virus is still there and the situation remains extremely serious – as this potential outbreak shows.

“I would like to ask employers to support me as well – if anyone needs to self-isolate for the time required to comply with safety guidelines, please do all you can to respond. ”

Staffordshire County Council last month made a similar appeal after a Covid-19 outbreak at a Stone pub.

A total of 22 people tested positive after frequenting the city’s Crown and Anchor pub on the same weekend.

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